Exhibition and market

On Saturday, a Beaconite enjoyed travelling to Virgin Gorda to attend the first of a series of exhibition and market events hosted by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. Before she could see the tents filled with vendors, she could hear the hum of live music. As people walked from tent to tent, checking out what each vendor had to offer, children ran around — sometimes sliding down the slide of a bounce house, other times checking out the goats and other farm animals. Though the red peas soup competition did not actually occur since there was only one participant (she won by default), the fun was not quelled. Such events feel like a community is being brought together for the sake of simply having a good time. What better reason is there? It is when there is a strong sense of community that a place extends beyond a mere location. The reporter is excited to check out the other events being held throughout March. Next up is a similar event in Anegada this Saturday, followed by another on Tortola on March 16.


HOA online

The House of Assembly has been broadcasting its sittings directly on YouTube for a few years now, but a Beaconite would like to take a moment to praise this practice. The accessibility of the format makes watching the meetings much easier for the media and the wider public alike. On YouTube, users can easily fast-forward to the discussions they want to watch, and they can even watch in double-time they choose. Given the hours spent on windy rhetoric aired in the HOA, these options are useful indeed. The Beaconite thanks the HOA for this step toward greater transparency. Soon, he hopes that it will also start providing full transcripts of the proceedings shortly after they conclude — as is doing in the United Kingdom Parliament.



Tourist types

Experience gives one the ability to predict the future to a certain extent. For example, if you want to drive on any road frequented by tour busses when large cruise ships are in port, you’ll be late. If you want to have a quiet experience at Cane Garden Bay, you can predict the noise level by how many cruise ships are in port. If you would like to experience The Baths on Virgin Gorda without dodging a slow progression of tourists, you guessed it: You better make sure there aren’t any large cruise ships in port. As the territory prepares to create a national tourism strategy, a Beaconite would point out that some tourists bring more benefits than others. And given the size of the territory, he believes that the Virgin Islands should consider doing more to prioritise upmarket tourism over the floating cities that rotate throughout the week. Does fewer people mean less money? Maybe not, if you replace them with people who stay multiple nights and spend their money on island instead of onboard a cruise ship. Anyway, the territory currently doesn’t have the infrastructure to support mass tourism. Crumbling roads and sidewalks and a lack of consistent taxi regulation provide strong arguments for capping cruise traffic — at least for now. After all, the territory is in direct competition with many other Caribbean islands. They’re all beautiful. Nature cannot be relied upon if it is overwhelmed with crowds — or if appropriate infrastructure is not in place.